"Combining" rectangles for laser engraving


There is probably a quick way to do this but I can't find one.

I set up rectangles for engraved plaques with text in, such as this

Now this means there are overlapping rectangles which means the engraver cuts the same line twice.

I'd like to preferably have it only cut once. Combining doesn't fix this, gives the same result.

I can't remember what I've tried with the Shaping tool but I didn't have luck there so far but I may have used the wrong settings.

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  • Is that the extent of the rectangles or are their many more?

    1. If not filled already, select all the rectangles and assign a fill

    2. make a copy off to the side someplace

    3. group all the duplicates. 

    4. ensure snap to shapes is active (alt+z). Use the freehand tool. Manually begin to draw in the line segments you need. Start with creating a  boundary around the group (in X7 it's under object\shaping). For the other segments just cursor over an intersection until you see it say "node" then click once and move over to the other end and when it snaps to the node click again. 

    5. after all are drawn in, click on the grouped and delete.

    6. select all your segments and combine.

    7. move the lot into the orig position and delete all the orig rectangles

    something to that effect.

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